Saturday, January 30, 2010

Pressing It In

It was so sweet of God to let me stumble upon the LPM blog a few years back. I had done some Beth Moore studies, listened to several of her teachings and of course just loved the woman! So, when I discovered her blog I was elated. There are so many great things about this blog.

A. You get more of Beth, her wisdom, encouragement and a ton of laughs

B. You get to hear from her two girls, Amanda and Melissa, who like their Mom are the REAL deal..genuine, full of wisdom, insight and they have that hilarious "Moore" humor

C. There is such a COOL sisterhood between all of the women who visit LPM...the "Siestas" :).

In December 2008, Beth invited us to join her in memorizing scriptures for the 2009 year. We memorized 2 scriptures a month (you were free to choose) and then held each other accountable by sharing them on the LPM blog on the 1st and 15th. Let me tell rocked my world! I have memorized Scripture before but NEVER this much and NEVER this consistent. There were times in prayer (for myself or others) that the Scriptures I was memorizing poured out like rivers of living water! Beth reminded us to look over our spirals and remember where we have been with Him. I love that! It really is a picture of my ups and downs, struggles, victories and longings of my heart from 2009. My little spiral is now one of my dearest treasures. And you can imagine how my heart leapt when I saw my 11 year old whip out her spiral this morning and started going through her own scriptures without me asking her to do it. :)

Well, January 22nd/23rd was a weekend I have been looking forward to for over a year! Over 500 women met at Beth's church, Houston First Baptist, to celebrate a year of hiding His Word in our hearts. I started the night by getting to meet one of my favorite bloggers, BIG MAMA! Melanie was super sweet as I went on and on about how she keeps me (and sometimes even my man) laughing on a regular basis. (Just to clarify...he does not read blogs nor does he understand why I do, but he humors me every once in a while and will listen to me read one out loud). I do have to say it just felt so wrong calling her "Big Mama" to her face when she is indeed a very small mama!

The 3 Moore girls came out and the party began! Beth was over the top hilarious and full of energy....and I mean full all weekend! Her teaching was out of Psalm 119 and was of course amazing. She started off by saying we were going to memorize all 176 verses of the Psalm that weekend! Of course she was kidding but seriously how cool would that be??
*(Ok, side note: I had to laugh at this because my husband literally has given a challenge to our family: anyone who memorizes Psalm 119 gets $500. I tell him all the time the reason I love Beth so much is because she reminds me of him...he is totally crazy about God's Word and when he teaches or talks about it,it is always with a ton of enthusiasm and passion!!! )
Anyways, we finished the night with Beth's fabulous Texas Sheet Cake and then I got to meet Amanda, a few Siestas like Nicole from Canada and some girls from Oregon. I have to admit I left feeling a bit sad to be there alone. My BFF was supposed to be with me but she had a baby the week before and I wasn't staying at the hotel where most Siestas were. For the record, everyone was super was totally a me thing missing my friend!

The next morning I arrived bright and early and God was so sweet to have me sit next to some really fun Siestas. Dana, Paula, Kelli Jo and Yvonne became my new friends and were so great and totally pulled me right in. I was definitely feeling the Siesta Love! Worship with Travis was awesome and Beth finished her teaching with this phrase:

"I'm a resident alien..seeking direction... in deep want of wonder... in peril and need... troubled by humanity... especially my own... knowing that to follow is the only free road... to a straying sheep longing to be found."

At one point she talked about "pressing it in," making sure the Word that is taught/heard gets pressed in to your heart. Making sure it is on good soil, taken in, chewed on and then letting it transform. I can still picture her holding both hands over her heart as she said this and related it to the seed from the parable of the sower. Her teaching was so rich that I am still pressing it in. I looked over my notes today and was astounded at how God spoke to me in so many ways and in so many areas of my life. I will say this, to hear Beth say, " I LIVE to hear Him," stirs my heart. Stirs my heart to continue to pursue His voice and pursue Him through His Word. One of my scriptures I memorized was: "Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are they who keep His testimonies, and who seek, inquire for and of Him and crave Him with the whole heart" (Psalm 119:2 ). Lord, help me crave you over anything or anyone and live to Hear your voice.

We then broke up into small groups and said our memory verses together and then I snuck off to take some pictures of the Siestas spread ALL over the church campus. Such a cool sight watching and listening to 100's of women sharing their scriptures with one another! When everyone came back in we finished off the weekended with some question and answer time, an awsome commissioning and then worship. I loved getting to end the weekend worshipping our King with a bunch of His daughters. He is so good and so faithful! I am so thankful for His grace to stay consistent this year and helping me memorize all 24 scriptures! Thank you LPM staff (you were amazing!), Beth, Amanda and Melissa. Thank you for loving us and for giving such an incredibly memorable weekend and transforming year!

Psalm 33:4 "For the Word of the Lord is right and ALL His work is done in faithfulness."

Beth and her spiral..because God did create spirals on the 8th day :)

Love this one of her and Melissa

She was running to give someone a hug....she was so excited about everything all weekend! And I totally loved it

The next morning with my new friends:
Paula, Me, Yvonne and Dana

Beth with Amanda

Doing her thing...teaching His Word like nobody's business!

It is finished...

Now, let the Scriptures begin....

Kellie Jo listening to me

I love this shot. It was NOT posed. I was walking around and caught this as they were finishing! Celebration!

Beth and her beloved Starbucks

Siesta Memory Commissioning

"My dear Siesta, you have honored your God by treasuring His word. You have been through a rough year but here you are, the delight of your Father’s heart and a thorn in the devil’s side. As we go our separate ways, hold fast to God’s precepts. Let him use his decrees to put iron in your soul. Let no sin have dominion over you and when you stray (and you probably will) and you feel like you can’t find God, cry out to Him with all your might and he will come find you. Because never forget that the son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost. Now girlfriend, go out there and do that thing!"


Monday, January 18, 2010

That Is SOOO 2009....

Ok, so maybe it is! However I wanted to blog about many things last year and never got a chance to do it. So these are my 2009 highlights (in no particular order):

1. Wow...this is even 2008! I am such a slacker!! I cant believe I didn't blog about our Christmas in Colorado 2008!!! We had a blast as a family and then the Holloways joined us for some more fun. We ended the trip by spending the first of 2009 with our dear friends the Davidsons in Lubbock. Love that both these friends are the kind that even though you don's see each other often, you can pick right back up where you left off!

This was the way we got little John up the hill! GO Joseph!

Paul and Leighann Holloway

My great friend Jenifer Davidson..we got some shopping in :)

Having fun while the men went hunting

Ok, so John would NEVER brag about himself. But I totally will. :) He received an award in law school that he doesn't talk about it. As a matter of fact he didn't even tell me until a few years after we were married. Anyway, the Order of Barristers (according to Wikipedia) is a national honor society that provides national recognition for individuals who have excelled in advocacy at their respective schools. Basically an award that is given to only a few of the best orators in certain law schools around the nation. Only a couple were chosen in John's class. On our way out of Lubbock we stopped to see Tech and saw this plaque with his name on it in the Law School. We were so proud!

2. After 11 years of working at least 2-3 jobs at the same time, my vert intense and hard working husband began working from home!! Yea! Woo Hoo...LOVE IT!!

3. Birthdays! I blogged about some but not all. Rebekah turned 4 in January (of course she just turned 5 in 2010) and Hannah turned 11. My hubby....just got more distinguished!

Rebekah- January 10

Our amazing Nana gives her grand-daughters American Girl dolls on their 5th birthday. This is Nana and Ruthie!

Hannah-May 20

We went to Six Flags to celebrate Hannah!

Anna, Katie and Jed also joined us. We actually celebrated Katie too bc she and Hannah share bdays. We love these two girls so much! They lived with us for almost 2 years and were sad to see them leave in August. We all knew it was God's timing and that made it a little easier but we still miss them. You know, these kids grow up and leave home :)

John- November 16
Dad in one of his birthday presents!

4. Summer Vacation- We spent several weeks in San Antonio visiting my family. We had a blast seeing my grandparents, my awesome brother and my amazing aunt whom I love and miss dearly.

This is my coolio brother, Rob, with us. I miss him so much. He is an amazing dude...really!

We stayed at a hotel and they gave us a golf cart to get around. It was one of the highlights of our trip. :)

Girl cousins! Mimi got them matching shirts.
My lovely Bamba
This is my grandma and my Aunt Deniece. Love both these women a ton.

My grandfather with John. This man is such an inspiration. He fought in WWII and retired a Lt. Col. in the air force. He is a hard worker and extremely disciplined. I love this picture of him really laughing!

We also went to Sea but really HOT!! I love these two pics of Rebekah and John with their red cheeks!

Feeding the dolphins. I love John's expression here :)
After a VERY long day...we actually closed the park down!

5. Our 12th anniversary. We spent the actual date, July 5, at the 4 Seasons. John surprised me with a weekend stay there with lots of spa treatments. We had so much fun. I Loved it!!

Oh, how I love my man!!

We forgot it was July 4th and started hearing all the fireworks. From our balcony we saw 6-7 firework shows going on around the city all at the same time.

6. Anniversary Cruise to Alaska. A few weeks later we headed off alone (only our second big vacation since we've been married) to Seattle. We had a blast there and totally was not expecting that! Then we boarded our ship and ventured up to Alaska. It was a wonderful trip and the scenery was breathtaking!

Oh, we heart you!

At the original flagship Starbucks

THE most amazing fish I have ever had...and I don't really even like fish.

A fun morning jog in downtown Seattle then off to Starbucks :)

Me with Tammy & Gerald Vince...this was a total divine appointment and worth all the sea sickness I experienced. They are definitely heart friends and I am so thankful to Jesus for the amazing hook up!!!

Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC

7. Pink Purpose and Young Women's Retreat- I had the privilege of helping with Pink Purpose that was held after our annual women's conference, Pink. This after party was for young women (18-30) and was a total blast for me. I love, love, love these young women. God's word for them was, "Cherish." I also attended a retreat in November that was held specifically for this same age group. It was amazing. God is so faithful to love on and set his daughters free!

My man even helped decorate...only a REAL man would do this for his woman :)

We gave these mugs as favors to remind everyone to have some fun dates with Jesus.

Here is one of my dearest friends ever. Jen came and helped me and offered moral support and of course hilarious laughs :)

After Pastor and Elder David Smith shared God's Father heart for these girls he prayed over us and the Lord's presence was so sweet.

8. Houston- I had not been "home" in almost 2 years so the kids and I packed up the Suburban and headed south. We had so much fun visiting Mimi, Jon and Alicia, Grandpa Vince and Bertha and Poppo. I also got to visit my most favorite fabulous hairdresser, William Chow! Oh how I heart him! He fixed my hair from the dreaded Dallas bubble!

Me and my Daddy! I sure love this guy. He is a wonderful father and I love that he always makes me laugh.
My Dad gave the boys swords and they loved them.

My wonderful grandparents treated us to dinner and then we had a fun time with them in their home. I am blessed to have them. He is a POW MIA from WWII and has an amazing story and she is a funny, feisty little grandma with lots of strength and wisdom. I love them so!

My brother, Jonathan, took all the kids on a ride and they had a blast!

Sleeping at Mimi's!

9. Princess- We added a family member in August. My kids have been praying for a girl Golden Retriever for about 2 years. On a walk one morning she followed me home and has become our own little Princess. We did take her to the shelter where they held her and tried to find her owners but no one claimed the little orphan. SO we have adopted her! She is a fabulous dog and we all love her...Mom is still a little germ-o-phobed about the hair but who am I to reject a gift that my kids have prayed for for years!!

The cone of shame after her surgery...look at those eyes!
Our first weekend with Princess was spent at our lake house.

10. Longview- We got to visit family and friends and had a wonderful time celebrating Sherri's "20th" (wink,wink) birthday. We also got to see our long lost sister, Staci, from Germany whom we miss terribly.

All the girls

Alllll the grandkids! Talk about being fruitful :)

John and his little sis, Sherri.

John and his sister Staci with Nana.

11.Thanksgiving- Another fun trip to San Antonio. I got to watch my grandma stuff her last bird..she said she is done fixing turkeys!! I also had some great alone time with my wonderful aunt, Deniece. She is so special to me and I loved being together. I only wish we were closer. :(

My sweet Bamba after stuffing the turkey! I love this picture of makes me smile.
Deniece with her little muffin, John, and my Uncle Arthur
Oh, I love this little lady!

Hannah and her Cousin Ali making cookies

We went downtown to see a display on the history of San Antonio. My great grandfather is in one of the pictures. He is the one in the white cowboy hat on a horse.

Sarah with my brother, Rob.
My cute grandparents. Don't they look amazing??

Since we were downtown we headed to the Alamo. Interesting tidbit: My 4th great grandfather was the youngest known survivor from the Alamo. He was released with his mom after the war was over. I think he was around one. This is the room where they kept the women and children. I was totally NOT supposed to take pics but I did. Just think, if he had died....

15- The Bus- We had 13 people from Teen Mania that needed a place to stay last minute. SO, a few hours later the bus pulls up and here they came. A bunch of cool, young worshippers who are passionate about Jesus stayed with our fam and we had a blast! Also, about the same time our new amazing Nanny joined the fam! She is the one on the floor next to Rebekah :)

12. Passport to Purity- Hannah and I took a special weekend away to celebrate being a girl! We had a blast! We laughed, cried, got nails, toes and hair done, shopped a little, and ended with a fancy dinner at Tuscany. Here I got to present her with a purity ring to remind her her heart is the Lord's. I am HONORED to be this young lady's mom. She rocks!

This picture is too much! She is such a beautiful young lady..not my little chubby baby anymore. Where did these years go??

This is her purity ring. The gold heart represents hers, the large one around represents God's protection and heart for her, and the two little silver "balls" on each side represent her daddy and me helping her guard her heart and uphold her in prayer.

13. Fun Dates- I try to have a date with each kid at least a few times a year. Here are some fun pics of our times together. I have the coolest, most fun kids ever! Also, my hubs is still adamant about a once a week date and I am so thankful :)

14. Fall Fest- Gateway puts on a great fall festival. Here I had to young jedi's ready to fight for their candy! :)

I thought this was hilarious. Hannah with a cut out of Pastor Robert :)

16. Christmas- We stayed home this Christmas and had a wonderful time as a family. It actually snowed on Christmas Eve day...ALL DAY so we woke up to a white Christmas! I will have to do a full post on our Christmas. Too many fun pics :)

This is just the tip of the iceberg of all the happenings of our 2009. God has been so faithful to our family. While it was not without some trials, the word that comes to my mind for this year was God's abundance. Abundant in His love, provision, and sweet grace. Lord, thank you. I am undone by your mercy in my life

"The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus." 1Tim 1:14